Learn how to score free WIFI on the road

We, backpackers, don’t need much. If we did, we wouldn’t be traversing around the world with a backpack, washing our clothes in hotel sinks and eating street food cooked under very dubious conditions.

What we do need however is the internet (preferably free). How else would we upload that great selfie to the gram or let our loved ones know we are alive and not kidnapped by hordes of barbarians as they fear?

Obtaining free or cheap WIFI is somewhat of an art and we at Travset consider ourselves to be well versed in this. Do however remember to browse online using our hand guide here.

1. Go for the giants

Apple’s stories are famous for their fast and reliable WIFI networks. The best thing is it’s free!

Fast-food chains such as Mcdonalds and Starbucks are also locations where free WIFI can be used to your heart’s content.

2. Local restaurants

All local restaurants let their customer in on the WIFI network hosted by them. We suggest you purchase something of a very low value in order to indulge in their internet. If needed you can continue to use the same network another day without having to make a purchase provided you can get within the WIFI network.

If very low on funds you can request for the WIFI password from a customer that has already made a purchase. We do not, however, recommend this as this is akin to cheating the local business of their business.

3. Libraries

Libraries are for learning and the internet is an available tool in its pursuit.

Some libraries, however, might ask you for library cards to access the internet. We suggest talking to the librarian and informing her that you are simply visiting and is not in possession of a library card to use the said internet. Most people are very kind and the chance of you being turned down is low.

4. Local transportation hubs

Local transportation hubs such as bus stations and train stations usually provide free WIFI for their passengers. These, however, might be slow or unreliable at times. But hey it’s free!

5. Hotel lobbies

All hotels offer WIFI for their guests or patrons of their restaurants. We recommend taking advantage of it.

6. Use apps

There are certain apps that can assist you with locating free WIFI networks and helping you connect to the strongest one.

Some apps we have heard great things about are Wi-fi Finder, OpenSignal and Wefi.

We recommend doing some more research on such apps as certain countries have been known to deploy local apps to help visitors use their WIFI.